6 Keys For Effective Leadership

It’s Guest Post Monday!!! This post is from Brandon Gilliland who is a fellow blogger. Make sure to check out his blog here and follow him on Twitter. If you would like to have a post featured on my site then click here.

I attended a powerful leadership conference a few years ago featuring speakers such as Terry Bradshaw, Laura Bush, and General Colin Powell.

But Rudy Giuliani’s comments were the ones that really stuck with me. Not only was he a great speaker, he was a great leader during a tough time in America. Here are some of the highlights of his speech:

1. Know what you believe in.

Manage your beliefs. If you do not know what to believe in, it is very easy to fail.  It is important to establish your beliefs early on because they will lead you to the final result. Your beliefs will be your driving force.

2. Be an optimist.

Being optimistic is a mind set. Our natural instinct is to think about and focus on the negatives in life. Remaining optimistic is important in leadership. To keep an optimistic mindset, continually visualize your dreams. You have to dream in order to achieve something great! After the visions and the dreams have started to become clear, it’s important to set goals.

3. Have courage.

This is essential for a successful leader. If you are always doubting yourself (or are afraid of everything), you will not be able to lead effectively.

4. Relentless preparation.

Anything that is important needs critical preparation. It takes relentless preparation. Often, leaders who separate themselves from the pack do so by perspiration- not just inspiration.

5. Understand the value of other people.

A successful leader must understand the value of others. Recognizing your own weaknesses and balancing those out with others is what makes a great team! As leaders, it is easy to become isolated. Great leaders recognize that true success is only achieved through teamwork.

6. Love people

If you do not love others, you are not showing God’s love through your leadership. This will damage your testimony and cause others to disrespect you. A true leader is measured by their heart and their love for others. This ultimately is one of the most important keys to leadership because it is a command that Jesus gives to His followers.

Question: What keys for leadership do you think are important?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I like relentless preparation. As a Leader or emerging Leaders all of your points ring true Brandon. I would add being a servant and leading by example. Most people watch your actions and if they say that same thing as your words, its truly all you need. Thanks for the great post.

    • Great additions Lincoln Parks, being a servant leader, setting the example, and “relentless preparation” are so essential.

      Thank you for reading and adding to the conversation.

    • Being a servant and setting the example is crucial. If you can’t do things yourself, how can others follow what you have asked them to do? Great thoughts!

      • Brandon if you can’t do things yourself others won’t follow you until you can. It’s Leading by example and taking the next step to Leading on any level.

  • Although all the listed elements have traces of integrity, I think that is the key for a strong foundation of leadership.

    I remember a few years back when they were having that seminar, I thought about going. Glad to hear you did and thanks for sharing some of the highlights.

    • Integrity is crucial. It is hard to follow a leader that does not have integrity and Godly morals. Great point!

  • I think of the ones you covered – number 1 is the weakest for many people. Many people are unsure of what they believe and why they believe it. The truth is all 6 that you have here are very important. Thanks for the post!

    • I agree with you. If you don’t know what you believe in, there is no way you can effectviely lead. It is important to have that foundation established.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Loving people is vital, otherwise what you are doing is purely selfish. Evaluating if you are leading for your own personal gain, or for the betterment of others really determines the type of person you are.

    • TC Avey,

      I agree, it’s all about caring and loving others. This is something anyone needs to consistently “evaluate” in their life. To honestly check our own life and make sure we are leading with love will allow us to lead like Jesus.

      Thank you for sharing.

      • Great point Dan, just because we start out with love doesn’t mean we don’t need to do occasional self checks. It’s easy to get so caught up in doing “good” that we forget God.

    • Great thoughts! No one enjoys following someone who is in things for his/her own personal advancements.

      • And yet we see so many in political office that don’t seem to represent those who elected them. It’s a conundrum at times.

        • There are certainly many issues within our country’s political system.

          • And within our churches and pretty much all organizations because Satan is so crafty. Sometimes we don’t even realize he is at work. We must “Watch and Pray”!

  • Well said. If I had to put them in personal order of importance, it would be:
    1. Know what you believe in – the most courageous thing you can do is discover yourself.
    2. Love people – if you don’t love people, why lead them? Self-serving leadership is narcissism.
    3. Be an optimist – be overflowing with this to inspire those you lead. It’s part of why they look to you.
    4. Have courage – It will be hard. You will grow. Endure.
    5. Understand the value of other people – because they are secretly amazing.
    6. Relentless preparation – I’ll admit, this is where I struggle (which is most likely why I place it last).

    • Awesome! I love how you rearranged the list to your personal life. I also agree with your #1. You have to know what you believe in and where you are heading in order to lead effectively.

      By the way, I checked out your blog, and it was awesome! I now follow you!

  • I love #6 especially. Great leaders lead from their hearts: the mark if a great leaderis their love for people.

    Great post Brandon.

    • I totally agree! Can you think of any leaders who lead from the heart that would be good examples of this?

      • Michael Hyatt leads in blogosphere. Joyce Meyer, Don matheny, ( my pastor) are great heart leaders too. Top of the list is my husband Tommy, an awesome leader in our home and marriage :)

        • Great examples! Thanks for sharing! I am not familiar with the others that you mentioned, but I am familiar with Michael Hyatt. He certainly does lead effectively. I have learned a lot from him…even though I have never met him!

  • I’m liking all of these principles, I would just add to lead by example.

  • I think number 6 is actually the most important key for effective leadership. Leadership is, by definition, working with people. If you don’t love people and sacrifice for their well-being, you aren’t so much leading as you are taking advantage of others.

    Leadership really is loving those under you and helping them achieve the best they can be.

    • Wow! Very well said!

      • 0xd
        God bless,
        TC Avey

      • Ditto. I think it would be great to read more about the topic of leadership and loving others.

    • Agreed!!

  • Hey Brandon,
    These are great tips. I especially appreciate the value others suggestion. In my opinion a leader who doesn’t value others can never lead well. Eventually, they will become autocratic in nature and at that point it’s not really leadership. Being able to see the value in others as well as helping them see their own value is key to being an effective leader on all counts. Thanks for these refreshers!

    • I love what you said in your comment:

      Being able to see the value in others as well as helping them see their own value is key to being an effective leader on all counts.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • These are all great points! The only thing I would add is Love God and seek His purpose in all things.

    • Great addition Susan, thank you for sharing it.

  • Brandon, I love the part about preparing. Too often we focus on leadership in the now and what we have to do to survive presently. We don’t think about the preparation that goes into our efforts before the fact.

    • Being prepared is key for future success. Thank you for mentioning it.

  • Dan, I am very forthcoming with people. I am honest and to the point in a respectful manner.

    • What a great quality to have. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • Great leaders often speak with such simplicity, but despite how simple these keys are, people often neglect them! (Myself included at times). Thanks for sharing this post and sparking a reminder towards myself and others to never neglect the important roots from which your leadership has developed and will continue to develop on :)

    Ryan Paul Ridgway – WeeklyHustle.com | Founder and Key Contributor

    • Ryan,

      I totally agree. It’s why I think a constant reminder of the basics is important. Thanks for reading and sharing.

  • Amazingly, #2 is so simple, but it’s the sticking point for most potential leaders. It’s challenging to be an optimist when the general direction of life is negative and “down stream” (a phrase Jim Rohn used a lot). Yet, who wants to follow a pessimistic leader?!

    • Kent,

      Agreed. People follow a optimistic leader more than a naysayer. Thanks for stopping by and sharing.